As school begins to start back up for many areas, there’s a good chance you’re a bit overwhelmed and feeling confused as to how things will go. From in-person learning to hybrid schedules, sticking to the collective goal of protecting our kids is crucial to keeping COVID-19 in schools at bay. We all want our children and their teachers to have a safe, exciting, and productive school year, despite how different it may look.
How can you ensure you’re doing everything you can to help stop the spread and keep your children and others safe? Keeping a balance between the health and safety of students and staff and meeting the educational, social, and emotional needs of students is critical during this time. Let’s take a look at some of our top safety tips to consider as kids begin to go back to school in Minnesota.
Back to School 2020
Heading back to school may look a bit different for everyone this year, whether it’s in-person learning, distanced learning, or a hybrid. However, there’s one thing at the forefront of everyone’s decision-making process—keeping students, staff, and their families safe and healthy. Let’s take a look at some ways to help ensure a safe school year for everyone.
Follow All School Guidelines
Despite taking every precaution necessary, having a group of students in the classroom will come with some level of risk. And while the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published guidelines to help keep schools safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, every school or school district will likely have their own set of additional rules and guidelines to follow as students and staff come back this fall.
Not only is it important to read and understand the specific information your school gives out, but you’ll also want to make sure your child’s school is adhering to the recommendations set forth by public health officials. By helping to implement and following every plan and measure deemed necessary, students will have a safer return.
Before heading back to in-person learning, schools should be reaching out to notify you of their safety measures, however, here are a few questions you may want answered:
- What changes have been made to ensure proper social distancing?
- Will there be a universal mask policy for students and staff?
- Will cleaning services be increased, and how often will they be employed?
- What will happen if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
- If students and staff feel sick, will they be required to stay home?
- What will sports and extracurricular activities look like?
Practice Safe Distancing and Wear a Mask
One of the most important practices to keep in mind before sending students and staff back to school, and in general, is maintaining a safe distance and wearing a mask. Social distancing, or physical distancing, is the practice of allowing adequate space between individuals to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The recommended space is 6 feet between yourself and those outside your household. However, this can be difficult when heading back to school—especially in classrooms with younger children.
Due to the difficulty of social distancing for in-person learning, wearing a mask is highly encouraged. This may even be required by your school guidelines. Ensure your children have an adequate cloth mask they are able to comfortably wear during the school day. This will help prevent the spread of not only COVID-19 but also other common viruses and illnesses that make their way around schools each year.
It is important that parents encourage healthy behaviors at home. This will ensure teachers and staff members are able to properly do their jobs without needing to constantly worry about whether their students are following the rules.
Keep Hands Clean
Another important part of keeping students and staff healthy is to encourage proper hand cleaning. Practice washing hands at home with your children, and explain to them why it’s important to wash your hands for 20 seconds or more—especially after sneezing or coughing and before eating. Ask your school what practices they are putting in place to encourage frequent hand washing. You should also establish before and after-school routines that foster healthy habits.
Stay Home If Sick
As mentioned above, it is important to ask your school what protocols they have in place for students and staff that feel sick or test positive for COVID-19. If your child is sick or displaying worrying symptoms, we recommend keeping them home no matter what. Some places encourage daily temperature checks and close monitoring of signs and symptoms for COVID-19. If you notice your child has any symptoms whatsoever, keep them home. This can help prevent the virus from spreading to others.
Make sure you know the common signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle aches
- Poor appetite
Get Tested for COVID-19 at The Urgency Room
If you notice your child has any symptoms of COVID-19, get them tested as soon as possible. All Covid-19 testing is scheduled online at Urgencyroom.com. All three locations in Eagan, Woodbury, or Vadnais Heights are offering rapid testing.
At The Urgency Room, our number one priority is protecting our patients, staff, and the communities we serve. We are committed to keeping patients with non-COVID and/or respiratory concerns safe and separate at all locations and will continue to take all necessary safety precautions at our facilities. Be sure to check out our blog for additional information on COVID-19 and other health concerns.